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Book Profile & Revue: The Sprites and Midgets – A Collector’s Guide by Eric Dymock

Review and value of The Sprites and Midgets, a book about Austin-Healey Sprite and MG Midget motor cars. These are British made sports cars, popular in the 1960s and 1970, and now classic collectors vehicles.

The Sprites and Midgets by Eric Dymock is a charming book published by Motor Racing Publications Ltd some two years after the Midgets went out of production. It charts the twenty-one years of production (1958-1979) of the Austin-Healy Sprite and the MG Midget, two British made, small, affordable and easily maintained sports cars which are symbolic of motoring in the 1960s and 1970s.

They became known as the 'Spridgets'. Over 350,000 were manufactured during the production lifetime and today they are true classics.

This extensively illustrated book includes close-up photographs of engine compartments as well as various road and racing models. It charts the ancestry of the vehicles and the various models manufactured. Of particular interest to the collector of vintage cars are the appendixes which include technical data for all models produced, references to aid identification, engine and chassis numbers, production statistics and performance data.

A chapter about the Sprites and Midgets in competition includes details of the vehicles at the 1958, 1960 and 1962 Alpine Rallies (Coupe des Alpes), the 1959 Monte Carlo Rally, the 1960 and 1964 Lands End Trials, the 1960 and 1962 Sebring GT races, the 1963 and 1964 Nurburgring 1,000km races, the 1960, 1961, 1963, 1964 and 1965 Le Mans races and others.

Contents - as outlined in the book:

  • Introduction
  • Acknowledgements
  • Ancestors and parentage..... Austin, Morris and the Healey connection
  • The first Austin-Healey Sprite..... Creating a new sports car concept
  • From frog-eyes to squashy bumpers..... The development of the Sprite and Midget
  • Spridgets on the road..... The performance appeal of a low-cost sports car
  • Prototypes and specials..... The Spridgets that got away
  • Sprites and Midgets in competition..... From autotests to endurance rallies and races
  • Buying a Spridget..... The choice, the examination and the road test
  • Appendixes:
    • A: Technical specifications of all Sprites and Midgets
    • B: Sprite and Midget identification reference
    • C: Chassis and Engine Number reference
    • D: Sprite and Midget production statistics
    • E: How fast? How economical? Performance figures model by model
Many excellent illustrations in the book including this Austin-Healey Sprite, c1958

Eric Dymock, the author of this book, is an award winning British motoring journalist who has worked with many leading publications and television production companies.

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The MG Midget, c1970

Book Details:

Title: The Sprites and Midgets - A Collectors Guide

Author: Eric Dymock

Published by: Motor Racing Publications Limited, (London), 1981, 1st edition

Format:

  • A hardcover book with a dust jacket
  • 112 pages
  • Including detailed text, and many black and white photographic illustrations
  • Size Approx: 240x189mm
  • Approx weight: 476g
A scene from a race at Longridge featuring a number of Sprites, original photograph by Peter McFadyen

The Sprites and Midgets - A Collector's Guide by Eric Dymock, 1981 1st Edition: Value

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The Sprites and Midgets - A Collector's Guide by Eric Dymock, 1981 1st edition, hardcover, estimated value of the pictured copy which is in very good condition in a good dust jacket, £15

Copies in better condition grades can be expected to sell at a premium.